Students of Stewart Head Start program salute veterans |

Students of Stewart Head Start program salute veterans

Teri Vance
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

After hearing stories from several active duty and retired military servicemen, the students at the Stewart Head Start marched in a parade waving flags and saluting their guests.

“We owe a lot for our freedoms,” said teacher Paula Laumann. “We want them to develop a true appreciation for our country and for the men and women who serve.”

The children, ages 3-5, sang “Happy Birthday” to the Marine Corps, which marked its 245th year Tuesday.

Although they may not have completely grasped the concept of Veterans Day, Ret. Col. Jack Osborn was happy to attend the children’s ceremony.

Osborn told them how he served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War, then joined the California Army National Guard.

“We veterans are keeping their country free,” he said. “We can’t keep doing that because we get too old. We have to have young ones to take our place.”

The highlight of the day was a tour of the National Guard’s load handling system, a large truck and trailer used to haul heavy pieces of equipment.

“I knew they wanted to see something with big tires, so I brought the biggest thing we have,” said Staff Sgt. John Dube.

“I like that truck,” Alex Barr Jr., 6, declared after touring the cab.

“I like the back of it,” Lance Hornman, 4, added as they ran back to play on the trailer.

The day ended with patriotic cookies and the children handing out homemade thank-you cards to veterans.

“I know there’s a lot of things they don’t understand yet, but personally I enjoy being here because I really care about these kids,” said Sgt. 1st Class Doug Patterson of the Nevada National Guard.